Raven’s Heart teaser

Intro short from Raven’s Heart
Ok, so for those of you who haven’t read the first two books of the Ravensblood series, we’re in a *very* alternate version of the Pacific Northwest. Magic is real and openly acknowledged.
Raven’s Heart is the third full novel in the series—there’s a novella as well that just came out as part of an anthology. The section you’re about hear is from a manuscript that has not yet had its full edit.
Forgive the spoilers , by the way, for those of you who haven’t read the first two books yet, but I want to set the stage. As we begin this story, Cass and Raven are engaged. Cass has been promoted from her former job as a Guardian—magical law enforcement—to Guardian International Investigations. GII handles the complicated cases that are beyond the scope and abilities of the local Guardians, and tends to hire misfits and eccentrics, sometimes with questionable pasts.
Several nights ago, while Cass was away on GII business, Raven went out to the opera with his friend Josiah the bookseller, and on the way home encountered an abandoned kitten getting soaked in the rain. It was a case of powerful former dark mage v. scrawny stray kitten in a battle of wills. As you might expect, the kitten won.
As this section begins, Cass is just getting home from her trip.

She paused for a moment in the doorway, admiring his cheekbones and the strong, raptor-like nose that gave his face character and kept it from the realm of too-pretty. He noticed her scrutiny and looked up, asking with his eyes what she was studying. Even as she smiled and shook her head, she started to consider how best to persuade him back to bed and whether or not she would let him finish his breakfast first.
As she crossed the room to kiss him hello, something small and white skittered across the floor, and she jumped back with a start.
“How did a cat get in—oh,” she finished, looking down the hall to the kitchen, from where the kitten had come. Two small stainless-steel bowls lined up neatly next to the evercool box, one containing water, the other dried cat food.
“This is sudden,” she ventured, sitting across from him at the table and stealing a slice of his toast. “I never knew you wanted a pet. What’s its name?”
“Nuisance,” he said without looking up from buttering the remaining slice of toast.
“I brought the paper in,” she said, handing it to him before scooping up the kitten scaling her jeans and settling it on her lap.
As he unfolded the paper, she started to get acquainted with the kitten. It was an odd little thing, with mismatched irregular blotches of color on its coat and a strange, angular face. Possibly a Siamese had had something to do with its genetics way back, but it lacked any semblance of Siamese elegance. Funny, she would have imagined him with a sleek purebred, a Burmese or a Bombay, if she imagined him with any kind of cat at all.
There was more to the story, there had to be, but she knew from experience that patience would bring it out soonest. Undoubtedly, the tale would be worth the wait.
Raven dropped both the paper and his toast. “Oh, gods.” He’d gone white.
Cold washed over her. “What is it?”
Wordlessly, he handed her the unfolded paper so she could read the full headline. Burned Body found in Bookseller’s Shop in Uptown Shopping District—Dark Magic Suspected.
The picture showed Josiah’s Books cordoned off with police tape.

 

Raven’s Heart is due to be released February 6– with a little help from my friends.  The Indiegogo crowdsource funding campaign is currently on ‘soft launch’ while I wait for the musicians to finish the trailer.  Early donations during the soft launch period are vital to making the campaign seem viable enough to attract donations from strangers when I announce the campaign to the general public. And there are some very special perks that are available only in limited numbers, including a manuscript evaluation by my editor Mary Rosenblum!